Ask the French. The only answer you’ll get for their favorite cherry dessert will be a cherry clafoutis, with beautiful, generous and flavorful black cherries, such as the burlat variety. Incredibly easy and quick to make, this traditional dessert is so delicious!
Cherry clafoutis is one of those homemade desserts baked with no specific reason as soon as cherries appears on the shelves at markets. It always have a great success. Eaten warm or cold, served alone or with vanilla ice cream.
I’ve had a hard time trying to find THE perfect traditional recipe as clafoutis, in many families such as in mine, is done pouring ingredient without measuring them. Au pif as we say in French (pif is the slang for nose. So this means that your nose – your feelings – helps you to judge if there are enough or if more is needed). After a long investigation, I have not been able to find two identical recipes.
The bases are more or less the same:
- Cherries, of course, but how much? Generously fill the dish I was told.
- Eggs: 2, 3, or even 4
- Sugar, but not too much: the cherries are naturaly gorged with sugar
- Flour, but not too much or mix with some corn flour? The clafoutis should not ends too dense
- Milk, au pif. Or cream but it is early June, summer is coming, so it’s not the ideal moment for having too much calories
- Butter, a little au pif. Again!
There are some differences in: Those who choose cream instead of milk, I talked about that earlier, or use almond powder. I’m not keen on those choices. You can also replace milk by almond milk. Some chefs bake clafoutis in two steps so that cherries are perfectly neatly arranged in regular rows (first they bake a small amount of batter for 10 minutes, then they arrange and fix cherries in it and finally they cover with the remaining batter, without covering the cherries, before baking). Personally, I think it’s beautiful and may be great for photos, but it doesn’t fit with the image of clafoutis which is a traditional, family dish, more rustic that fancy.
Now we come to the main question : with or without pit. I’m firm with this, the answer is WITH, even if it upsets those who find it annoying or inelegant having to spit out the pits. Pits bring taste to the preparation.
After studying all these solutions, I decided a subtile combination that took notes (I didn’t want to write this articles with quantities … au pif). Result: dish emptied in a flash, childhood memories back in mind … it worked well. So here is the recipe. Your turn now.
For the story behind the dish, clafoutis comes from French Limousin region and from the verb clafir which means to complete.